PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced $1,037,960 for St. Joseph the Worker to expand their Workforce Village program to support transitional housing and services that assist individuals experiencing homelessness with finding full-time employment and managing finances.
“Across the state, there are resources available for Arizonans who have fallen on hard times and could use guidance to get back on track,” said Governor Ducey. “Today’s funding will go a long way in strengthening those services to help those in need secure meaningful employment and create a better future for themselves and their families. I’m thankful to St. Joseph the Worker for all their incredible work in helping vulnerable Arizonans become self-sufficient and removing barriers that individuals experiencing homelessness face on a daily basis.”
Governor Ducey’s investment will secure more transitional housing opportunities as part of St. Joseph the Worker’s (SJW) Workforce Village, which individuals utilize as they work their way to self-sufficiency. The investment funds adequate housing for 60 individuals approximately every two months who are utilizing SJW’s services, totaling approximately 360 individuals every year.
This investment will allow the program to expand resources that help individuals succeed, including transportation, training to connect with meaningful employment and strengthening skills that can be used to expand job opportunities.
To date, the Workforce Village program has had 64 participants, with an 80 percent success rate of clients moving into their own housing. There is currently a waiting list of clients seeking to join this program, which these funds will help accomplish. From the Summer of 2019 to the Summer of 2020, more than 2,400 individuals gained employment with the help of SJW and more than 5,220 individuals received employment services and resources — resulting in $68 million in annual wages that can now be invested back into Arizona’s economy.
“St. Joseph the Worker and the clients we serve are extremely grateful for the transformational support of SJW’s innovative Workforce Village program,” said Brent Downs, Executive Director at St. Joseph the Worker. “This funding will allow us to break the top two client-cited barriers to gaining and maintaining quality employment: a stable place to live and transportation. Through the support of this program, we are allowing our clients to move into self-sufficiency and economic independence through employment.”
SJW was founded in 1989 and has stayed true to its mission to assist individuals facing homelessness and financial hardship in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment.
"The Workforce Village offers a helping hand to those struggling with homelessness and gives them hope,” said Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) Director Tom Simplot. “ADOH is proud to fund supportive housing like this that helps vulnerable Arizonans find work and their own place to live."
The dollars come from the Housing Trust Fund administered by the ADOH.
On November 2, Governor Ducey and the ADOH announced the distribution of $15.35 million in federal funding to support programs aimed at combating homelessness throughout Arizona.
On November 1, Governor Ducey and the ADOH announced $197 million to launch the Homeowner Assistance Fund, helping Arizona homeowners struggling financially to pay their mortgage and other home-related expenses.
In March, Governor Ducey and the Arizona Department of Economic Security announced the distribution of $8.2 million to provide Arizonans facing homelessness with critical services.
In May, Governor Ducey and the ADOH announced $500,000 for the United States Veterans Initiative to support its efforts to ensure veterans experiencing homelessness have safe, adequate living conditions. He also announced the “Arizona Back To Work” plan in May to support Arizonans getting back to work, and fill the thousands of jobs available across the state.
In July 2020, Governor Ducey announced $975,000 from the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund be allocated to 12 organizations in Arizona that provide shelter for those experiencing homelessness.